Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Doc Severinsen, February 1973

Today I have four slides shot by Mr. X in February, 1973, featuring Doc Severinsen, who was performing on the Tomorrowland Stage with his backup band that included singers and dancers - "Today's Children". Groovy!

Doc was an accomplished musician, though of course most of us know him from his 25 year stint as the bandleader on "The Tonight Show" with Johnny Carson.

Here he is, speaking to the audience; slightly behind Doc, and to his immediate right (our left) and half in shadow is his daughter Nancy, who toured with him on many occasions.

Mr. X recalls: "This was Doc's road act at the time.  Not jazz, but a kind of country pop, believe it or not.   It really catered to a kind of county fair audience.  Most of us who went to see this wanted to hear the Doc Severinson of the Tonight Show Orchestra -- Carson was giant at this time...".

Here's a 1974 photo of Doc and Nancy, from Wikipedia. That's some coat, Doc.

A trombonist takes center stage! X continues, "I recall Doc performing Malaguena... at the end of the set, but that was the only piece which showcased his instrumental talent.  Doc even did vocals with the back up singers.  It was not the sophisticated jazz orchestrations that we were accustomed to hearing on the Tonight Show.  I have an audio tape of that show somewhere...". 

One of the things Doc was known for was his loud wardrobe - like this example! I asked X about the band, and he said, "I have trouble remembering the personnel.  I expect that Ed Shaughnessy (from the tonight show) was probably the durmmer, and recall Dick Spenser on alto, perhaps Ross Tomkins on piano".  We can see Ed Shaughnnessy's name on the drum head, so that is a winner.

Doc Severinsen is still with us at the age of 91, and I believe that he still performs from time to time.

MANY THANKS to Mr. X! I have even more of his big band photos to come.


Nanook said...


What an unusual change of pace and yet we're still at Disneyland. It's hard to get past Doc's 'wild outfits', although his daughter is trying her best by sporting 'two-toned' hair decades before the "trend" caught-on.

Thanks to Mr. X for sharing these different images.

TokyoMagic! said...

I need to get a groovy beige jumpsuit like those guys on stage are wearing!

Let us not forget, that Doc was one of Sandy Duncan's guest stars in her "Sandy In Disneyland" television special from 1974! At one point, he plays the trumpet while she dances around New Orleans Square.

Melissa said...

The costuming is like three different shows just happened to turn up on the same stage together. But I guess white boots go with everything.

Stu29573 said...

Johnnie is STILL the king as far as I'm concerned! I wouldn't bother watching any of the "late night" guys now (especially now that Craig Ferguson is no longer on). Interesting side note, I attended North Texas State University and lived in the music dorm (I was a musician, but was actually in the Radio, Television, Film dept.) My roommate was a drummer from Washington State and his private instructor back home was...Ed Shaughnessy!

Alonzo P Hawk said...

Wow those are some groovy outfits, Johnny Bravo himself would be jealous! The female dancers outfits are hot to trot. If I had been present (10yrs old at the time) Mom would surely be trying to cover my eyes.

Btw mom hated to be called Shirley as her name was Alice.

Thanks for sharing Mr X & Major.

DrGoat said...

Thanks a bunch Major. I'm in total agreement with Stu on every point. I was a drummer for a local rock band back then and Ed Shaughnessy was one of my favorite drummers, just below Buddy Rich and just a tad above Mitch Michell. Sure wish I had been there for one of these shows, even if it was pop and not his usual Tonight Show fare. Thanks To you Mr. X.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, even after years of collecting, finding photos of the bands that performed at Disneyland is an unusual occurrence. So I am grateful to Mr. X for donating his many personal slides to me! I wonder if Doc’s daughter still performs with him?

TokyoMagic!, jumpsuits are always a good idea. I remember having a red one when I was a kid, I must have looked like someone who was AWOL from the Elf Air Force. If Sandy Duncan gave Doc her seal of approval, it was better than a blessing from the Pope.

Melissa, nothing says “excitement” like costume changes! If it was up to me, I would just put on bigger and bigger hats as the show continued. Until I had the biggest hat in the world.

Stu29573, I used to love Letterman in the earlier days; same with Conan; but I don’t really watch the late-night talk shows these days. Very cool that your roommate learned from Ed Shaughnessy!

Alonzo, there was no time quite like the 70’s, as far as clothing went, anyway. And yes, the go-go boots and hot pants on those dancers still works for me. Also, “Shirley” isn’t such a bad name!

DrGoat, I still remember watching Johnny with my old roommate (who was from South America). He loved “The Tonight Show”, expecially when one of Johnny’s jokes bombed, it delighted him. And I am shocked that you played rock and roll music. It’s the Devil’s music! ;-)

JC Shannon said...

I am a firm believer that our first alien encounter occurred in the early 70s. How else do you explain the fashions of the time. Case in point, did you ever see the Brady Brunch musical show? I am guessing Doc's outfit is some sort of interstellar flight suit. That being said, Stu is right, after Carson, late night took a nosedive into Mac Brazel's field. Thanks to the X man and Major for today's groovy, far out, solid and right on post.

Melissa said...

Don't they ever have to pee in the future?

Major Pepperidge said...

Jonathan, I figured that all of the chemicals from the 60’s would explain the fashions of the 70’s! You know, the *funny* chemicals. I rate the Brady Bunch just below the Beatles (but above the Rolling Stones) on the list of “Greatest Rock Bands of All Time”. I do miss the old Carson show, and wish I’d gone to see a live taping of it at least once. As is the case much of the time, it seemed like it would never go away.

Melissa, my theory is that famous people don’t have to use the bathroom at all.

stu29573 said...

On my one and only trip to Knott's Berry Farm I saw the Brady Kids live! I still havr the 8x10 giveaway "signed" promo picture! My life was never the same (sort of).

walterworld said...

Wonderful post. Hope this isn't out of line but here is Doc, along with Tommy Newsome and Ed Shaughnessy paying tribute to Johnny on the Lettermen show on the night of Johnny's passing. It's Johnny's favorite song, 'Here's That Rainy Day'...